Miami - Germany's Bernhard Langer, a two-time Masters champion reportedly cited by US President Donald Trump in defending his claims of widespread voter fraud, said Thursday he never tried to vote in US elections or spoke to Trump.
The New York Times reported Trump relayed a story to US lawmakers Monday that Langer told him he was waiting in Florida to vote last November and said he stood next to people who did not look like they should be allowed to vote but were able to cast provisional ballots.
The newspaper reported that a White House official later said the Langer story was relayed by a friend to Trump, who has called for a major voter fraud investigation based on his belief that millions of people voted illegally.
Langer, in a statement released Thursday by the 50-and-over PGA Champions Tour, said he never tried to vote and the tale had been passed along through mutual friends.
"Unfortunately, the report in the New York Times and other news outlets was a mischaracterization by the media," Langer said.
"The voting situation reported was not conveyed from me to President Trump, but rather was told to me by a friend. I then relayed the story in conversation with another friend, who shared it with a person with ties to the White House. From there, this was misconstrued.
"I am not a citizen of the United States, and cannot vote. It's a privilege to live in the United States, and I am blessed to call America my home."
World Golf Hall of Famer Langer, 59, won the 1985 and 1993 Masters titles. He captured 42 European Tour titles from 1980 through 2002 and has won 30 events on the Champions circuit, the most recent last weekend in Hawaii.